Fifa corruption investigations widen

Fifa's bids for the World Cup, including the 2010 tournament in South Africa, are under investigation.

The Fifa headquarters in Zurich. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber says all those involved in the alleged International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) bribery scandal are being investigated with many arrests already being made.

He says houses have been searched and financial assets seized.

The Fifa bids for the Soccer World Cup, including the tournament in South Africa, are also under investigation.

A number of countries, including South Africa, have been implicated.

The attorney general has updated the media on the Swiss investigation into the scandal, saying various premises have been searched.

"On 27 May, my office seized electronic data and documents at Fifa's headquarters in Zurich. [On] the same day, but in separate proceedings and independently of the Swiss criminal investigation, football officials and suspected bribers have been arrested and placed in detention."

He says 121 bank accounts are under investigation, along with a huge amount of information from sources.

"Information from different sources has to be analysed and processed."

Let me remind you that we seized huge amount of electronic data, which today comes up to around 11 terabytes."

He added that the investigation will take some time.

"As this is an ongoing process, it is therefore too early to name a specific figure of frozen assets.

I prefer also not share this information at this time, for tactical reasons."

Meanwhile, the United States (US) Attorney General says American and Swiss authorities will be pursuing further charges against various Fifa officials in the bribery scandal.

Loretta Lynch delivered an update in Zurich a short while ago, where she confirmed that they have broadened their investigation.

She has confirmed that 14 high ranking officials were arrested in early June on suspicion of being involved in bribery, money laundering and racketeering.

Lynch says they expect more names to surface.

"The scope of our investigation is not limited and we are following the evidence where it leads."

I am grateful for the significant cooperation and substantial evidence that we have received from all quarters. Based upon that cooperation and new evidence, we do anticipate pursuing additional charges against individuals and entities."

She says the probe into the officials is growing and they expect to arrest more people.

"We have also begun coordinating closely with prosecutors and law enforcement officials from a number of other countries as well."

The US attorney general says ten other officials face extradition in Switzerland and three other countries.

Her Swiss counterpart says the investigation will take some time.

"You may imagine what this means in terms of time and resource requirements for our ongoing criminal proceedings."

Lynch says they will do everything possible to ensure that justice prevails and that culprits face the full might of the law.

"The problem with corruption is soccer is global and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to support a global response."

South African officials have denied any wrongdoing.